Detroit’s General Motors Co. and South Korea’s LG Chem today announced that they expect to break ground in mid-2020 on a $2.3-billion joint venture plant for electric vehicle batteries on a greenfield manufacturing site in the Lordstown area of northeast Ohio.
The joint venture will create more than 1,1,00 new jobs in an area still impacted by the automaker’s closing of its Lordstown Assembly Plant.
GM says the new state-of-the art plant will use the most advanced manufacturing processes all under one roof to produce battery cells efficiently, with little waste, and will benefit from strong economies of scale throughout the value chain. The plant, the automaker says, will be extremely flexible and able to adapt to ongoing advances in technology and materials.
“With this investment, Ohio and its highly capable workforce will play a key role in our journey toward a world with zero emissions,” says Mary Barra, chairman and CEO of GM GM. “Combining our manufacturing expertise with LG Chem’s leading battery-cell technology will help accelerate our pursuit of an all-electric future. We look forward to collaborating with LG Chem on future cell technologies that will continue to improve the value we deliver to our customers.”
This announcement, along with the recent sale of GM’s Lordstown manufacturing complex to Lordstown Motors Corp. for the production of battery-electric trucks, positions northeast Ohio and the Mahoning Valley as a major hub for technology and electric vehicle manufacturing.
In addition to vertically integrating the manufacturing of battery cells in the U.S., LG Chem will gain access to an experienced workforce. It will also benefit from a dedicated production stream of future EVs from GM’s next generation of battery-electric vehicles, including an all-new battery-electric truck coming in the fall of 2021.
“Our joint venture with the No. 1 American automaker will further prepare us for the anticipated growth of the North American EV market, while giving us insights into the broader EV ecosystem,” says Hak-Cheol Shin, vice chairman and CEO of LG Chem. “Our long-standing history with General Motors has proven our collective expertise in this space, and we look forward to continuing this drive for zero emissions.”
In other GM news, the automaker’s Customer Care and Aftersales organization says it has paid $3 million in rewards to more than 6,500 repair facilities and collision shops through its new My GM Partner Perks program.
“My GM Partner Perks makes it easier for dealers, direct accounts, and our independent aftermarket partners to conduct business with us,” says Kris Mayer, general director of retail and wholesale dealer channels for GM CCA.
Starting Jan. 1, 2020, My GM Partner Perks members will be able to participate in a streamlined process for quarterly trade rebates through the My GM Partner Perks portal with just a few clicks. This includes reviewing and approving parts purchase history.